Late Ming Cavalry Armor 明末騎兵甲
I think I have found my favorite new website about Ming dynasty arm and armor:
It's called Great Ming Military blog, its very thoroughly researched and they have many historical images that Osprey and most western sources missed: great read all around for history enthusiasts and artists.
Generally, the Ming cavalry was especially designed to counter the steppe foes of the Empire. As such, most of these riders are equipped with a bow and quiver. The army was largely divided between the northern styled army, which emphasized cavalry, and the southern styled army that focused on infantry.
I was able to find several great images of late Ming cavalry, I will post it below:
Heavy cavalry detachment.
Detachment of saber wielding imperial cavalry, armored in long scaled coat and arm guards. Notice the twin yellow banners on the helmet.
Heavy Ming cavalry detachment, likely imperial guards. Carries halberd, bow and arrows. Mountain scale, classic scale cuirass, and lamellar cuirass.
Elite cavalry corps, probably generals, armed with heavy gilded weapons, capes and heavier armor (some mountain scale) that resembled the generals of early Ming.
Red light cavalry.
Detachments of late Ming cavalry, arrayed in long brigandine armor and segmented arm guards. Notice the tall red banners on their helmet.
Magistrates in brigandine armor, wearing their distinctive mandarin hats. Usually attached to regional commanders as stewards, scribes, and eyes/ ears of the Emperor.
Mounted officials. Without armor, likely adjutants or theater commanders.
Scouts and attendants.
Detailed account of the progression of Ming armor could be found here. As per most Ming dynasty armors, the heavier armor of scale and lamellar would be fading by this period. Chainmail became extremely prominent for a brief period (the only period in Chinese history that mass produced chainmail) brigandine would later become the most prominent type still retained in the army.
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